Brothers in the swing in Kenmare

THIRTY three years later it remains one of the country’s most convivial golf outings – so little wonder that numbers are up and they travel from all points of the globe for the annual Kenmare 3 Brothers Golf Classic.

This year’s two-day event kicks off at daylight this morning in the serene surrounds of Kenmare Golf Club, 62 sets of three brothers putting family pride on the line for ultimate glory.

For one set of brothers, the Keatings of Charleville, the challenges will be all too familiar at this stage. Mike (11), Dave (17) and Coley (23) are competing in their 32nd consecutive Brothers Classic – and they’ve been able to call on their cousin and resident pro at Killarney Golf Club, Dave Keating, for a few last minute tips.

Transport Minister Noel Dempsey is another regular. The 21 handicapper will be joined by his brothers Niall (14) and Dublin-based judge, Dermot (18) for the event, and the Trim trio have some form, having won the event two years ago.

“We’ve six new sets of brothers this year and 62 teams in all,” beamed Kenmare club secretary John O’Sullivan yesterday. “Now if we can get a bit of weather, we’re all set.

“At this stage it’s more a reunion than a gathering. It’s not just a chance for brothers to get together, but there’s a host of friendships.”

The Brothers Classic was first established in 1978 by Frank O’Connor. It’s over two days with the scores of all three brothers counting. Teams will be competing from many parts of the world including Ireland, North America, France and England.

There’s also the local impact on Kenmare’s businesses. “You have 186 golfers, plus their families,” explained John O’Sullivan.

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